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AWC Theatre Brings Alcatraz Exhibit to Life

Jan. 15th, 2013

Chip Straley
Professor of Theatre
Arizona Western College
(928) 344-7592

Charles Flynn
Executive Director
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area
(928) 373-5198

AWC Theatre Brings Alcatraz Exhibit to Life

Yuma, AZ (January 15, 2013) — When Professor Chip Straley of Arizona Western College’s Theatre Department heard that a major travelling exhibit called “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” was headed to Yuma, he had visions of prisoners dancing in his head.

The exhibit, which is a project of the National Park Service and its concessionaire, Alcatraz Cruises, has been travelling throughout the country with the purpose of reaching a broader, national market. It opened at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park on Saturday January 12 and runs through April 14, 2013.

The exhibit is housed in the Storehouse building on the grounds of the park, which necessitates on-sites stewards to ensure the security of the exhibit. But Chip Straley thought that these on-site stewards could be so much more. He approached Heritage Area Director Charles Flynn with the idea of bringing “living history” to the exhibit. The idea was for eight of his students to study the lives of not only prisoners, but also of the guards and their families and convey some of that history “in character” to exhibit visitors. Flynn agreed, and the student internship became a reality.

“This is a great opportunity for our most gifted students to use their talents with a constantly changing audience and to provide a richer interpretive experience for the visitor”, said Straley.
Flynn commented, “We hope this is a beginning of a partnership that will benefit both the college and the two state parks we are managing”.

The exhibit is open every day from 9AM-5PM through April 14, 2013. Admission for the exhibit is $4 for adults, $2 for children age 7-13, and free for children 6 and under. More information about the exhibit can be found on The Union Pacific Foundation sponsorship helped make this exhibit possible.


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